Press Release 22.2.16

Religious Leaders Condemn Attack on Denia Mosque

The Religious Leaders of Cyprus and the Office of the Religious Track of the Cyprus Peace Process (RTCYPP) categorically condemn the arson attack against the recently renovated Mosque of Denia, in the Nicosia district.

H.B. Archbishop Chrysostomos II of the Church of Cyprus and H.E. Dr Talip Atalay, Mufti of Cyprus and are in contact with one another through the facilitation of the RTCYPP since they heard about the attack yesterday. Both leaders made and released their own respective statements strongly condemning this heinous act.

“Such attacks made against places of faith and of worship, are actions that aim to disrupt the environment of peace and tranquility, to destroy the sense of security and to extinguish the hope for peace” stated the Mufti of Cyprus following the attack. “I expect from everyone involved to show the necessary sensitivity in order to prevent the repetition of such acts made against places of worship, regardless of the faith and the place.”

H.B. Archbishop Chrysostomos II in his official statement on 22 February 2016 stated, “The Church of Cyprus strongly disapproves and condemns any acts which are directed against places of worship, which restrict religious freedom and which are used to create a climate of discord, mistrust and tension.”

“ We are very saddened by these news. We should rebuild. Not destroy”, said. Rev Father Jerzy Kraj, religious leader of the Latin Catholic community of Cyprus and representative of the Apostolic delegation of the Holy See.

Imam Shakir Alemdar visited the Mosque today on behalf of the Mufti and the Office of RTCYPP. He met with the local community leaders and Greek Orthodox priest of the village. He affirmed that works had already begun by the government of the Republic of Cyprus to replace the burnt roof of the Mosque. “The event is very unfortunate, even more distressing that it is the second time this is happening at the same mosque.” said Imam Shakir Alemdar who is responsible to oversee the mosques in Nicosia, Larnaca, Limassol and Paphos on behalf of the Muftiate. “These are sensitive times and all necessary measures should be taken for such acts not to be repeated again at any place of worship, anywhere in Cyprus.”

Mufti Atalay welcomed the statement of President Anastasiades and the immediate efforts of the government authorities to restore the damage caused by the attack yesterday.

Posted in Press Releases.